Lt. Kevin Riley
Frank Da Vinci
latest assignment takes the U.S.S. Enterprise to retrieve a science team
from the surface of Psi 2000, a dying planet, and observe its disintegration.
However, on entering orbit, sensor scans show the members of the team
to be dead. Mr. Spock and crewman Joe Tormolen are transported down to
their camp in environmental suits to investigate the cause and discover
that the behaviour of the team before they died had been very strange.
One is found to have been taking a shower with his clothes on. While Spock
downloads the computer records Tormolen has a look around. For some reason
he removes a glove and, on touching a wall is unknowingly infected with
an alien virus. After their return Tormolen starts to act strangely, eventually
attempting to stab himself with a knife but is restrained from doing so
too severely by Kevin Riley and Sulu.
Joe is taken to sickbay with minor wounds that are not bad enough to account
for his death shortly afterwards. In touching Tormolen, Riley and Sulu
have themselves become infected and soon both also start to exhibit strange
behaviour, a condition which spreads rapidly around the ship. Stripped
to the waist, Sulu terrorises the corridors of the Enterprise with a sword
while Riley, behaving as if drunk, takes over control of the ship from
the main engineering department.
The Enterprise is still in orbit around Psi 2000 and is threatened with
destruction unless it moves off before the planet disintegrates - a fact
that Riley chooses to ignore. His requests and announcements over the
ship's intercom become ever more manic and outlandish. In desperation,
Scotty and a team of engineers try to cut through a bulkhead to reach
him without severing vital relays while, in sickbay, McCoy races against
time to try and find a cure. Scotty's team manages to get in and remove
Riley but find that he has shut down the main warp engines, which they
need in order to escape.
Kirk and Spock decide to try something that has only ever been theorised
about - a controlled implosion of cold matter and anti-matter. The huge
gamble comes off and the result is very powerful, but with unexpected
consequences when, due to the speeds attained, the Enterprise is sent
back in time by 71 hours. This is the first recorded instance of a Federation
vessel achieving time travel.